News and Events
The Labrador Institute/Memorial University is currently recruiting to fill a position with the Faculty of Arts, located in Goose Bay. Four candidates have been selected based on their qualifications and interest in the history, culture and people of Labrador. They also bring a commitment to research and community engagement in Labrador. As part of the recruiting assessment, each candidate delivered a public presentation.
The final candidate, Scott Neilsen, spoke on:
May 17th @ 2pm, Room 106 at the College of the North Atlantic in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, NL.
Topic: “Archaeology Beyond the Horizon”
Like José Mailhot’s Naskapi, Ashuanipi Lake stands beyond the horizon near the height of land and the border with Quebec in western Labrador. It is near the hub of known Innu travel routes between the Lake Plateau region of the central interior and the coastal regions of Hudson Bay, the Labrador Sea, and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. In this talk I will present the results of three seasons of archaeological survey at Ashuanipi Lake and the surrounding region, including excavation highlights for archaeology sites FeDn-01 and FfDn-01. Through learning about these sites and Ashuanipi Lake, and the part they play within the wider story of Innu and Labrador culture history, the audience will also learn about archaeological theory and methods, and the roles and responsibilities of archaeologists in the communication of Labrador history.
The public and interested groups/persons are encouraged and welcome to attend.
The third candidate, Heidi Coombs-Thorne, spoke on:
May 10th @ 2pm, Room 106 at the College of the North Atlantic in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, NL.
Topic: Challenging the Official Grenfell Discourse: Towards a More Balanced History of Nursing with the Grenfell Mission in Northern Newfoundland and Labrador, 1939-81.
The official discourse of the Grenfell Mission presents the organization as a utopian health care establishment in northern Newfoundland and Labrador which was characterized by the uncompromising gratitude of the people, the harmonious working relationships of Mission employees, and the conformative behavior of nurses within the Mission’s paternalistic structure. This was the public image of the Grenfell Mission. This was a powerful and important image. Yet, how accurate an image was it? This presentation challenges this utopian image, the official discourse of the Grenfell Mission, in order to present a more balanced history of nursing with the organization in northern Newfoundland and Labrador. A close analysis of archival materials and oral histories reveals the Grenfell Mission as an organization characterized by people striving to provide health care under extraordinary circumstances – circumstances which sometimes caused personal and professional conflicts between the local people, the nurses, and the Grenfell administration (as represented by the physicians). This is a history in which nurses sometimes behaved in a manner inconsistent with the prescribed professional and gender roles of the day. This is a history in which the presence of a (male) physician to perform a medical intervention mattered less than the performance of that intervention. And this is a history in which rules sometimes had to be broken in order to save the lives of the men, women, and children of northern Newfoundland and Labrador.
The second candidate, Peter Evans, spoke on:
Tuesday, May 7th @ 2pm, Room 106 at the College of the North Atlantic in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, NL
Topic: The AngajokKauKatiget and the AngajokKak: Inuit Politics at Confederation
The first candidate, Rafio Ruiz, spoke on:
Friday, May 3rd @ 2pm, Room 250 at the College of the North Atlantic in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, NL
Topic: Look to Labrador: The New Media of Natural Resources
This talk seeks to explore the relationship between the phenomenon of environmental mediation and what could be thought of as resource-first ideologies, modes, and models of social development. It mines the Grenfell Mission of Newfoundland and Labrador as a particularly engaging story that tells of the ways in which extractive economies, labour patterns, and practices of social reform can combine to create a site of human need open to outside intervention and adaptation. One crucial player in that story was Dr. Alexander Forbes, eminent physiologist and faculty member of the Department of Physiology at the Harvard Medical School, as well as an amateur explorer and cartographer. In the 1920s, Forbes and Dr. Wilfred Grenfell began a correspondence that would ultimately lead to their unprecedented project of mapping the North Coast of Labrador from the air. Caught up in the early, innovative, and experimental years of aviation, Forbes and Grenfell struck up a partnership that went outside of the typical channels open to the philanthropist and his cause. The end result was the 1938 book Northernmost Labrador Mapped from the Air, published by the American Geographical Society. The material and immaterial effects of this tracing of Labrador's coastline are still felt to this day.
The Labrador Aboriginal Health Research Committee, with support from the Labrador Institute, hosted the Newfoundland and Labrador Aboriginal Health Research Ethics Workshop in Happy Valley-Goose Bay on September 25 & 26, 2012. The final report for the workshop can be accessed here.